NEWS
06/11/2016 18:27 EDT | Updated 06/12/2017 01:12 EDT

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton claims pole position at Canadian Grand Prix

MONTREAL — Lewis Hamilton wasn't satisfied with his qualifying session despite claiming the pole position at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Hamilton snagged his fourth pole position in seven races this season with a lap of one minute 12.812 seconds at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

Teammate and series leader Nico Rosberg came in second while Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel finished third.

"Today wasn't a strong day for me," said Hamilton, who's coming off his first Grand Prix victory of the season in Monaco two weeks ago. "I just didn't have the pace that I had yesterday."

It's the fifth pole position for Hamilton at the Canadian Grand Prix — one shy of record holder Michael Schumacher.

"In terms of laps, they weren't particularly that great," added Hamilton. "Even my pole lap was at the lower end of pole laps that I've had. So I'm pretty happy that I'm still on pole. You take it whatever way it comes."

The Britain native eclipsed his previous best qualifying times at the Canadian Grand Prix. His fastest lap at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve prior to Saturday was 1:14.393.

Hamilton finished just 0.062 seconds ahead of Rosberg, who's fastest lap was 1:12.874.

The two Mercedes cars will start at the front of the grid on race day for the third time this season.

"From second, anything is possible, I know that," said Rosberg. "I'll give it everything. But definitely the pole would have been better today, for sure.

"Still a good team result, of course. Again to show that we are the fastest car."

Vettel will start third after his fastest lap of 1:12.990. Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo will be fourth (1:13.166) while teenager Max Verstappen will start fifth (1:13.414).

It was a three-way battle between Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull for much of the qualifying session, as Hamilton, Rosberg, Vettel and Ricciardo traded fastest-lap times.

Vettel finished 0.178 seconds behind Hamilton.

"I thought we'd get them," said Vettel of the two Mercedes cars. "We missed them, but not by much. Overall the car felt good. Looking at our qualifying performance lately, this was one of our better ones."

Six minutes from the end of qualifying, Vettel went for broke, hoping to beat Hamilton and Rosberg's times. The 2013 Canadian Grand Prix champion approached turn 14 with speed and came dangerously close to the wall of champions.

"I had that long straight to think about what to do in the last corner," said Vettel. "I thought I'd break late and go on power really early. I knew it would be close, but I just got a little nudge."

Light rain began to fall on the 4.361-kilometre track about 10 minutes into the session.

The red flag came out 28 minutes into qualifying when Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz nicked the wall on turn 14 then accelerated into it, damaging the front of his car.

The session restarted eight minutes later as the rain began to hold off.

McLaren's Jenson Button, the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix winner, did not make it into the third round of qualifying. He'll start 12th on Sunday.

The yellow flag made its first appearance 16 minutes in after Manor Racing's Rio Haryanto drifted into the wall on turn four, puncturing his right rear tire.

Notes: Renault's Kevin Magnussen did not take part in the qualifying session after crashing into a wall during the morning's practice session. … The fastest all-time qualifying lap at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is 1:12.275 (Ralf Schumacher, 2004).